Grand Valley State University’s applied Medical Device Institute (aMDI) has been awarded $500,000 by the Grand Rapids SmartZone to study the use of specialized 3D printing technology for medical device production.
The grant will allow the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based institute, along with contract manufacturer MediSurge (Grand Rapids) and 3D printing company Carbon (Redwood City, Calif.) to create production-grade, implantable medical devices, which isn’t currently possible due to existing materials used for prototyping. The institute has a new Carbon 3D printer.
“We are thrilled to be the first university in the Midwest to provide students with direct access to this type of innovative technology on campus,” said Brent Nowak, executive director of aMDI, in a prepared statement. “This novel 3D additive manufacturing technology, targeting medical grade materials, will soon be the new standard, and this study will be a launch pad for course content that is used in curriculum throughout the university.”
More than a dozen graduate and undergraduate students from Grand Valley’s Seymour and Esther Padnos College of Engineering and Computing, along with faculty, will have opportunities to engage with the aMDI team on research projects in a real-world laboratory and learning environment. Nowak said he hopes the study also sheds light on ways to accelerate the process of device development as well as the manufacturing cycle.
Upon completion of the study and determining scalability for 3D printing of medical devices at production volumes, MediSurge would be the first medical device manufacturing company in the Midwest to offer this kind of service. MediSurge is also providing funding and engineering support to the study.